1. Introduce Yourself! What’s your story in 10 words or less?
I am a change agent who found my calling bringing structure to the financial lives of young professionals. My father’s work in academia moved my family around the country and as a kid I realized that if I had my own money, I could choose where I wanted to be.
That desire for personal empowerment is what led me to delve into personal financial planning. While managing a 90-million dollar program for an online retailer (at age 23) I met my husband and moved down to D.C. where he had a software company.
While working for the federal government I went looking for a few-only financial planner to help me map out my goals. After contacting over 20 planners I learned that none had experience working with young people and I couldn’t afford them anyway. So I enrolled in the College for Financial Planning to learn the information myself.
While completing the coursework and talking about it with my friends I learned that everyone had questions but there were no sources of expertise for young professionals. So Solid Ground Financial Planning was born – to provide pure advice, purchase by the client directly, tailored to their needs.
2. What is the scoop on your session at NextGen? What will you be discussing?
I’m really excited about NextGen. I’m going to talk about Having It All – Even On A Government Salary. Mosy young professionals need to juggle multiple financial goals all at the same time (debt management, savings goals, and retirement investing among others). This presentation will show them how to keep them from getting in over their heads.
The biggest mistake young Feds make is putting any extra cash towards student loans instead of holding on to an emergency fund. I’ll go into that more at the event.
3. Why do you think it is important for a young govie to attend a conference like NextGen?
It’s really important to attend NextGen to persevere in government service. If NextGen had been around for me I may have stayed in public service, knowing others were struggling as well and that I wasn’t alone. NextGen helps you keep perspective and builds a common voice, a powerful voice.
4. Who is your favorite public servant? Why?
I have two favorite public servants. The first is Ben Bernanke (surprise, surprise). In my opinion he and his supporters saved our financial system and warded off a major depression. I am grateful he was here when I as a citizen needed him.
My second favorite is my former boss Paul Harris. Paul was my first boss in federal service and he believed in me and moved mountains to help me succeed. I will always be grateful to him for his kindness and leadership.
5. Bieber or Bono? iPhone or Droid?
Bono – he can pull off cooler shades. iPhone – while Steve Jobs is still at the helm of Apple. He may be full of himself but the man puts out sweet product.
6. Thinking back, what is one thing you would tell your 22 year old self?
Hang in there – it gets much better than this. Also, remind yourself every day why you’re here.
Be sure to check back for more Next Gen speaker interviews!